Public Affair

30 Jan

I’m  a public. And you are too.

What are publics? A public is basically anyone who follows and forms an opinion about a business, organization, or individual a PR firm represents.

Publics can be voters in the case of politics, moviegoers in the case of an actor or a film, or potential customers in the case of a business such as a cell phone company.

We choose to become part of  publics when we express interest in a company or an individual, experience a connection with that company, or express an attitude, positive or negative, about the image of that company.  

We are publics to several things at one time. To illustrate, here are some examples of publics to which I belong:

1. Department stores, such as Macys.

  As a devoted shopper to the department store (especially the Ralph Lauren section) I am a follower of the general image of the company. When they do something positive, such as when they sold baskets to help women in Rwanda, it encourages me to keep  being a customer and to recommend their store to others. It also doesn’t hurt that Macys presents one of the biggest events of the holiday season, the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. Their image as a fashionable company is also upheld by the show Project Runway, in which Tim Gun instructs the designers to finish their models’ looks by choosing something from the Macys Accessory Wall.

2. Performers, such as Sandra Bullock

   She has been one of my favorites since Miss Congeniality, but after winning both an Oscar (best actress, The Blind Side) and a Razzie (worst actress, All About Steve),  she endured the harsh end of her marriage to Jesse that had the country cheering for her in what was both her worst and best year. Her publicists, and her own grace, helped her pick up the pieces. Before long, she appeared on the cover of People magazine after adopting a brand new bundle of joy from New Orleans as a single mom. A pre-awards show interview with Barbara Walters also showed more intimate sides of Bullock, from when she was a cheerleader called “Crazy Sandy” and a high school drama student who couldn’t quite get her act together. And no one can soon forget her tearful acceptance speech directed toward her mother.

3. Products, such as OPI

It is the only nail polish I will use, and magazines such as Glamour and Vogue appear to support my decision. The company constantly has ads running in the leading fashion magazines, and it is always the polish that the manicurist in the salon provides. They are branded as a high end polish, and I am smitten. Their campaigns include fun themes such as the Swiss Alps and South Beach and their polishes always have creative and smile inducing names. Care to try “Party in my Cabana,” “Yodel Me on My Cell,” or “My Chihuahua Bites?”

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